The India international who currently represents Nagaland plans to take up coaching full time
GUWAHATI, March 10: Sharing his expertise currently among the youngsters as well as senior players, Indian international cricketer Stuart Binny is very much impressed with youngsters making their way into the senior Assam squad.
Binny who recently played his 100th List A Game, is a part of the high-performance camp which is underway at the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Stadium in Barsapara here and is being organised by the State Cricket Academy, Assam in association with Rajasthan Royals Academy. The 36-year-old all-rounder enjoyed a memorable 17-year stint with Karnataka before he joined Nagaland in the domestic circuit.
Stuart, son of 1983 World Cup winning team member Roger Binny, has also donned the colours of Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In an exclusive interview with The Assam Tribune, Stuart talks not only about the game in the region but also about his future plans as well as what it takes to make it to the international stage.
Excerpts from the interview:
The Assam Tribune (AT): How do you rate Assam as a team?
Stuart Binny: I think Assam as a team over the years has improved a lot. The structure is really important for a team and I feel Assam have a really good structure in place here. The best part about Assam is that the guys are still very young and still have a lot of cricket left in them. A lot of young guys came in and it wasn’t only the old guys. I felt those were positive changes because youth brings a lot of excitement to cricket and that’s exactly what has happened with Assam recently.
AT: Tell us about your experience with Nagaland.
Stuart: The Nagaland side is quite young in first-class cricket and it is important to understand that they’re still pretty fresh into the domestic cricket circuit. My experience with them is that they’ve got some really talented guys and some of them need exposure and guidance through the coaches and the players. As a whole, I feel Nagaland has a lot of potential and will do well in the coming years.
AT: Your take on teenage spin sensation Khrievitso Kense?
Stuart: Kense, I feel, is an extremely talented spinner. He’s very young in first-class cricket but more importantly, I feel he has the will to learn. He wants to learn day-in-day-out and is always bowling in the nets. He is someone who from ball one right to the end will continue to bowl in the nets, something that is really good to have at such a young age. I’m sure he will do well.
AT: What is the way forward for Assam if players need to make it big?
Stuart: For players to reach the international stage it needs a lot of sacrifices. I think Assam are a good bunch, I played against them last week and I felt they all had their game but reaching the international level is all about sacrifice and working hard. It’s important that the support structure and coaches make them understand what it takes to be an international cricketer. What I tell my Nagaland team and youngsters, in general, is that playing domestic cricket for one or two years is not going to take you anywhere. Look to play ten years of Ranji Trophy and if you do well in three-four years you then definitely will go somewhere.
AT: Experience at the camp?
Stuart: The boys who I saw here today are all very talented. They all have the game and I spoke to them after the session, that they should be looking to play Ranji cricket in the next three years. That has to be their goal. The U-19s, I saw some real talents and if the U-19s have this sort of talent, I’m sure the U-13s and U-15s will also have the talent.
AT: Your future plans as of now?
Stuart: Now my plan is to play domestic cricket for another year. I don’t feel the time has yet come for me to hang up my boots. On the side though, I have started to coach the Karnataka U-19 players in Bengaluru along with my Nagaland team-mates who come over to Bengaluru. It’s nice to be here with Rajasthan Royals, they have been my family for many years. I’d definitely like to go on and coach a first-class team in a year’s time. I’m going to focus my attention on the Northeast, this place is really special to me and I’ve played some important games of my life here with my 150th T20 game and my 100th List-A game. I feel there’s a lot of talent in the Northeast and would like to promote cricket here.